Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Difference in staying at a luxury brand

In the last few years I have traveled significantly and generally I stay at the courtyards, Marriott, Doubletree or Embassy Suites without being picky especially for my work travels.  For my personal travels though, I prefer and love the Marriott brand.  Recently I attended a conference and it was being held at the Ritz Carlton in DC.  Since it was just for a one night last minute stay, I ended up booking at the Ritz (though shocked at their high rates, but then it is DC, everything is pricey here). But after a one night stay, I truly believe the price is justified and it would definitely be something I would pay for, if the intention of my travel is luxury.  It was a fantastic experience in customer service and I can understand the loyalty from customers deciding to chose that brand over its competition.

From the moment I stepped out of the can, the attendant asked me for my name, which may seem casual at the time, till I realized the main purpose was that when I went inside the hotel to the check in desk, they addressed me by my name, had my keys ready for check in.  Had to give my id and credit card for verification and bingo, I was done with the check in process..so smooth and so quick...the room was nothing extraordinary.  I have stayed at Caesars palace, Venetian, Beau Rivage Palace and other Marriott hotels and it was comparable, but again the whole idea of luxury is service and comfort of the customer.  Since I was attending the conference, again the interaction with the staff was not much, till when I checked out and realized I needed to finish a file to send out last minute, so was standing in the bar area with my bags and laptop on a coffee table, working on a file, when one of the bartender comes in and gives me a bar stool to sit comfortably to fish my task at hand.. I was genuinely amazed by the attention to detail followed by each employee part of the hotel family.  Now the next thing, which has never happened to me before, but I realized I forgot my charging cable for laptop and one of the employees checks immediately if my room was already serviced and if they found something and the runs upstairs and returns with my charging cable in less than 10
Minutes.. Truly impressive...

A disclosure that this was not my first time at this hotel.  I have hosted our company event at this hotel 3-4 years ago and it was completely amazing with our customers. They were impressed with the food and service they received as well. I had never stayed at the hotel, but it was definitely a fabulous experience.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Using Candy Crush during job interviews?

So currently, I have two open positions which I am looking to fill for my team for more than 3 months now and I guess, when a position is open for so long and you are trying to find all different avenues where you can find some good candidates who may be fit, you find even the simplest of games for fun, which may be useful in your interviewing process..This is what happened to me recently:

I started playing Candy Crush Saga, after my mom, who was shown by one of my favorite friends Nileshbhai, while I was away on one of my week travels, started playing, got addicted to it and got me addicted to it...I would say, I am quite disciplined though, in the sense, I would play for the 5 lives in the day, mostly right before I go to sleep or while watching TV in the evening.  I usually do not keep on playing it forever, or asking additional lives.  The only time I am undisciplined with this game, is when I want to pass time on a flight, but still without internet, it only gets me 5 lives at a stretch.  Now again, coming to the point..

Recently, while playing a game of candy crush, I had sort of a Eureka moment.  So if you have played candy crush, you may know, most of the levels last about 60 seconds to 120 seconds at the max, till you create situations where either you lose your life or your pass the level.  Now, to keep things interesting, some levels are timed, some have minute bombs, some have candies forming and some are totally timeless..So recently, I came across level 252 on candy crush, which was timed level, but the most amusing thing about this level was I kept on getting additional seconds and thus gaining time from the initial 60 seconds to complete the level with a score of just 15000.  I had 15k in the 1st 5-10 seconds and then the fun was lets add points, which was interesting in the first few seconds and exciting, but then when I kept on gaining 60 seconds over and over for about 4 minutes, the game went from interesting to boring, and while I had passed my target, being a competitive soul and having forgotten to do my research before starting this stage on who is at the top and what is the highest score, I kept on playing at this level and gaining seconds till I scored 2,775,680, which is probably, the highest I might have scored in candy crush till date.  Now, after I felt that this is way too much, and assuming that most of my friends would have thought like me and given up after reaching the minimum threshold of 15k and given more than 3 minutes, I figured I might land in the top 3 if not the 1st, because I kept on playing this past, and only ended the game when I just did not play for a minute and thus let the clock run past and reach zero finally, but I was so wrong (and slightly disappointed).  I was 4th, meaning there were 3 more friends above me, who played more and kept on for probably the same reason, and that made me think, Ahaaa!! this game could be used to determine personality and culture fit during the interviews.

  • Is someone smart enough to just reach the required score and give up and move to the next level?(Equal to doing the minimum required for the job, or equal to smart enough to get the things done and move on)- While this is great, not sure if there is a competitive spirit here and at some point competition might take over if such a person is in charge?
  • How long does one last till they realize this is a trap and then give up and while giving up, do they face a moment of reluctance of what if, the previous candidate scored higher than me?- While this is definitely a balanced personality, the question is how much further do you pace yourself from the competition, so that you are always a step ahead and when do you realize, that it is good enough and move on to the next best step?
  • Do we find someone, who does not give up till the very end- While admiring such personality of never giving up, in the business world I work in, I would consider it a waste, since anytime you are not moving to the next thing and growing the business, you are wasting time and investors dollars)
  • I regret not doing this, because usually, I like to do my homework, and infact, one of the lessons I learnt with this game is, now when I play on any levels, I first check what the highest score is, before I start playing, so I know when to stop (just a little more of the top score, so you can have the coveted first position, atleast for a while, till someone comes and tries to beat you at your game, but at that stage, it does not matter, since you have moved on to the next best thing, and thus you are a step ahead)
Apparently, as soon as I finished the game, I took snapshots of the screen, because I knew, this is a post, I would definitely be blogging about sometime..Infact, when I was talking about this game and its possible role in interviewing candidates to determine personalities to my HR, she told me the next day, she started playing Candy Crush and is completed hooked to it now..Now, since I have some tiny shares of "KING", I do not mind if more people join and make them money...kidding.. 

Would you use a game of candy crush to determine the personalities of people you work with or work for?

Back to Blogging

So finally it is my birthday month and as I grow old, I think about my life, writings, what makes me happy and so from today, I am making a promise to myself to blog regularly again!! #backtoblogging

Monday, September 3, 2012


I really wanted to write something this weekend, but did not know what...I think I am trying to start a routine to write atleast 1 blog a week, specially on saturday(well I actually started writing this on saturday, but then with few phone calls on and off, had to finally give up and am here finishing it up on sunday)...So here is a short one(atleast I am thinking it is going to be short, before I start writing) on palmistry...

In one of my previous blogs, I had mentioned about astrology fascinating me, well I used to be and still sometimes am very interested in palmistry, and that interest started long before my interest in astrology. Reading the palms and interpreting the nature of the person or some major events in a person's life had been something which I used to do a lot, specially during my high school and 1st few years of my undergrad college...I remember buying a pretty big book on palmistry around my 11th grade and reading it and trying to understand the meaning of different symbols and lines which can occur in individual's hand..My interest had grown so deep into that book, that I would spend my major time reading that instead of my 12th exam books, finally my younger sister found out about it and she literally hid the book, and gave it back to me again when I was in college...During my 11th grade, I would read the books and try to observe my palm and interpret the meanings of various lines..It was during that time I experienced, that though some believe your future or destiny is not written in the lines of your hand, I could still see the lines changing when I was changing, thus motivating me to do something better in my life...I had read somewhere, that, if you choose and concentrate on one particular line atleast for few weeks, you can observe the changes in it and I totally believe that, since I have personally experienced it...Lot of my school and college friends, would show me their hands and ask me what I think about it..I would try to tell them with the little knowledge I had..Some of them felt it was true and others did not...Well, lines only by themselves cannot be used to totally predict the life of a person, but they can still tell a lot about them. My obsession with palmistry had grown to such an extent, that I would actually try to get a glimpse of the hand of any new person I meet, so as to atleast know the true nature of a person...Palmistry has never disappointed me, there were times when I thought it was all "mithya", since it predicted that some of the people whom I thought were so emotional and good, but palmistry predicted them otherwise, actually turned out to be mean and hard hearted...I had almost stopped practicing palmistry when some of my close relatives told me, it is not a good thing to do and it builds up some bad karma, so I should never see people's hand when they ask me to..So now I have stopped seeing or predicting people's hand, but make few exceptions now and then.....